Bullets are good, but Hawks better

March 04, 1994|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Sun Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- For the Washington Bullets the signs were good: Rex Chapman was back in uniform after missing 21 games; Pervis Ellison posted his second straight strong game; and Don MacLean gave a solid performance. But against the Atlanta Hawks, it turned out to be a wasted effort.

The Central Division-leading Hawks got strong performances down the stretch from Danny Manning and Duane Ferrell, who each scored 12 points in the final period to help Atlanta to a 109-98 win before 8,124 at the USAir Arena.

Manning, in his third game with Atlanta, scored 22 points, PTC grabbed 13 rebounds and had seven assists. Ferrell, a former star at Calvert Hall, finished with 21 points. Their combined 24 points in the final quarter outscored the Bullets, who could only manage 20 in the loss.

MacLean had 23 points, and Ellison 21 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bullets. Chapman, who dislocated his ankle on Jan. 17, was activated just before the game and finished with 10.

The Hawks trailed 78-76 going into the final quarter, but opened with a 12-4 run that gave them an 88-82 lead after a hook shot by Andrew Lang. Washington slowly began chipping away at the lead, pulling to within 94-93 after two free throws by Ellison with 5:11 left.

A dunk by Ferrell increased Atlanta's lead to three, and Chapman missed two free throws -- after the Bullets hit their first 15 of the night -- with 4:19 left.

From there it was too much Manning, who scored eight points during the final 3:32 of the game to help the Hawks to the victory.

Washington got off to a quick start against the new-look Hawks, opening a 17-11 lead after a layup by MacLean with 5:56 left.

Chapman, who missed 21 games, entered the game with 3:42 remaining and it didn't take him long to get in the scorebook as he hit a jumper 31 seconds later that gave the Bullets their biggest lead of the half, 21-13.

But from the end of the first quarter to the beginning of the fourth quarter the Hawks ran off 10 straight points that, following a layup by Ennis Whatley, gave Atlanta a 23-21 lead less than a minute into the second quarter.

There were seven ties the rest of the half, with Washington taking its biggest lead of the quarter, 42-39, following a three-pointer by Michael Adams with 3:24 left. But the Hawks, who shot 70 percent in the second quarter (after a 33 percent first quarter) outscored the Bullets 11-6 the rest of the half to take a 50-48 halftime lead.

MacLean's 12 points led the Bullets and Chapman hit two of four field-goal attempts, including a breakaway dunk.

Mookie Blaylock scored 10 points and Craig Ehlo nine in the half for the Hawks.

At the start of the second half it was Manning, who hit just two of seven shots in the first half, and Stacey Augmon who combined to score nine of Atlanta's first 14 points that helped the Hawks to a 64-57 lead.

Three straight jumpers by the Bullets cut the deficit to 64-63 after MacLean scored from 15 feet out.

Atlanta increased the lead to 72-69 after a dunk by Augmon. But the Bullets outscored the Hawks 9-4 in the last 2:12 of the third period -- the last five points coming from Ellison -- as Washington took a 78-76 lead going into the final quarter.

NOTES: With the activation of Chapman, G Calbert Cheaney was placed on the injured list. . . . The Bullets will play the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time this season tomorrow at the USAir Arena in the second game of the five-game homestand.

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